Last summer, the Augustine Institute partnered with Ignatius Press to launch the “Word of Life” catechesis program. Grades K-5 are currently available, and grades 6-8 will follow next summer. 

The kindergarten program launched last summer, and this summer, grades 1-5 were released. Aug. 15, the Solemnity of the Assumption, had been a guiding launch date for grades 1-5. This date signifies the founding of the Augustine Institute, as well as when the partnership alliance between Ignatius Press and the Augustine Institute was formed, according to Ben Akers, the Augustine Institute’s chief content officer. 

“We have this multipronged approach where there are resources for the teachers that are communicating and teaching information, and then there’s also information for the parents,” Akers said. “While their students are going through a traditional classroom at a Catholic school or in a parish program, the parents also have information available to them.”

Christian Smith, a Catholic sociologist at the University of Notre Dame, discovered that what keeps kids Catholic into their adulthoods — and even keeps kids faith-filled — is if their parents talk about God with them on a day that isn’t Sunday, Smith said. 

“We have found one of the strongest factors during the teenage years associated with youth being more committed to and practicing their faith later in their emerging adult years is having had parents who talked about religious matters during the week,” he continued.

 “It’s that simple and basic,” Akers said. “It’s just the fact that the faith applies to me every day. So we’ve curated a journey for the parents that matches and complements what their kids are learning, so that the parents are equipped to also share the faith and have holy, spiritual conversations about the faith.”

Full story at Augustine Institute.